Concert Review: Rodney Branigan – Lichfield Guildhall

Rodney Branigan – Lichfield Guildhall – 2nd February 2018

Review by Ben Macnair

With influences that ranged from the acoustic guitar heroics of Michael Hedges, to rap, a lively stage presence, and the ability to play more than one instrument at a time, the concert that the fast-rising guitarist, singer-songwriter and composer Rodney Branigan performed at Lichfield Guildhall on Friday February 2nd was never short of entertaining.

The Texan born troubadour, in his storied career, has played all types of music in all types of venues, so the more subdued atmosphere that the Guildhall provided was miles away from the American pubs and clubs that he first played in, but his adventurous, boundary breaking guitar and mandolin playing (sometimes at the same time) and sonorous vocal won him many fans in the audience.

In two sets, the music he played ranged from his own dextrous instrumentals, to covers of music by the likes of The Beatles, Kanye West, and Radiohead. Although the music was technically demanding, such as the fleet fingered two handed tapping sections of The Slot Machine, or the syncopated blues guitar and vocal patterns of Buckets it was also immediately accessible, putting groove and melody above pure shows of technique.
Kayne West’s 18 Years, and Branigan’s own A Devil to Like showed the influence of modern rap on his style and delivery, whilst his cover of The Beatles Come Together was a tour-de-force in on stage dynamics.

An encore of Radiohead’s Creep was a fitting ending to the concert, as it was nearly the 25th anniversary of the band performing for Lichfield Arts.

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